Books I’ve Read So Far | a mid-year review

My Goodreads reading challenge for 2018 is 70 books, and according to GR, I’m 10 books behind schedule gasp. We’re almost at the mid-way point of 2018 now, so I’d better see how I can keep to this very important schedule.

These are the 18 books I’ve read so far:

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Favourite read: City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett 😍 💯 ❤️ 👏🏼 🙌🏼

Guys, guys, guyssssssss I fucking love this series so much, and I’m fucking devastated that it ended with this book 😭

This series features some of the best characters I’ve read in fantasy ever. These books are so well-plotted and so action-packed that when I looked up from the book after settling down to read, the day was over.

City of Miracles, the 3rd book in the Divine Cities series, start in a weird place of the main character, Sigrud’s, life, but it kind of makes sense in context of everything that had to happen before he came back into the picture. Really enjoyed the unfolding of the mystery, and the way it ended (even if I was sad it had to end sigh).

The Divine Cities series isn’t high fantasy a la Brandon Sanderson; I would say it’s more like urban fantasy. Don’t worry, there are gods and magic and other good shit. Basically, if you’re new to fantasy and looking for an awesome, quick read, pick. this. up.


Most insightful read: China: A History by John Keay 🤔

This tome took me fucking forever to get through. I started in Aug 2017, and only managed to finish it early this year after buckling down and mowing through it on weekends.

Do I remember all the dynasties and emperors? Nope lol. But what I remember is that the path to the throne was usually soaked in blood. Not surprising, but reading a sentence like “thousands died in this battle” reminds me that there are millions of people in this world who will never amount to more than a broad statistic in history – and I’m definitely one of them. So you know, if nothing you do is ever going to make history, then why not just do whatever the fuck you want? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This book also shows me how cyclical human history can be (for example, emperors used the paths taken by their predecessors to justify their own) and how people are always at war. Reading The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty now, so I’ll see how different cultures breed different rulers.

Most read genre: Mystery 🕵🏻‍♂️

Read 7 mystery books, 6 of which are from the Inspector Lynley series. Mystery is one of my fave genres – cozy mysteries in particular. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series is iconic, and since finishing all Christie novels, I’ve been desperately searching for a cozy mystery series of equal calibre. I’ve read a lot of shitty cozy mysteries in my search (re: Simon Brett’s The Stabbing in the Stables) 😔

The Inspector Lynley series is definitely not one of them. It’s set in England, and follows Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers of New Scotland Yard. This isn’t one of those series where the characters’ lives remain the same for 30 books – we follow them through major life changes like deaths in the family and marriage.

What sets this series apart from other mysteries for me is how the author gives readers insight into every character: from the leads, to the peripheral characters. The author takes stereotypes and gives them depth and nuance by taking us into the characters’ heads. You get wrapped up in their very relatable problems and human flaws. The plots are usually well-paced, and so far, the mysteries aren’t contrived or boring.

I love the way she explores people and their infuriating choices. But there’s where the book could let you down too – in a few books, she has a tendency to delve too deeply into the characters’ psyche. That’s when the books might get confusing and the final denouement bewildering.

But other than those little bugbears, I love this series, and would definitely be reading more of them in 2018!

tl;dr I would say I’ve read quite a number of good books so far. Let’s hope this goes on for the rest of the year *fingers crossed* Life’s too short for 💩 books!

Will definitely be reading more non-fiction – if you have good books about life improvement or autobiographies you think I’d enjoy, please hmu ☺️

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